‘Indiana Jones’ Raids Box Office For #1 Holiday-Weekend Debut

'Crystal Skull' makes second-biggest Memorial Day weekend opening, behind 'Pirates of the Caribbean 3.'

The Box-Office Top Five
#1 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” ($126 million)
#2 “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” ($28.6 million)
#3 “Iron Man” ($25.6 million)
#4 “What Happens in Vegas …” ($11.2 million)
#5 “Speed Racer” ($5.2 million)

More tangible than the Holy Grail, longer-lasting than the Ark of the Covenant, more valuable even than those silly crystal skulls, real treasure was at last unearthed by renowned archaeologist Indiana Jones, who whipped up $126 million over the four-day holiday weekend and $151 million since his debut last Wednesday night.

Nineteen years after he last rode off into the sunset, Jones’ return to the saddle was a triumphant, if not universally hailed one. The four-day haul for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is the second-biggest Memorial Day total in history, behind only last year’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” (And while we’re laboriously writing out these full titles, whatever happened to sequels with numbers?) Meanwhile, among all-time five-day openings, “Crystal Skull” ranks fifth, ahead of “At World’s End” but behind “Dead Man’s Chest,” the second and third “Spider-Man” films and “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” Boy, that George Lucas guy must be breathing a sigh of relief that his record wasn’t broken, eh?

In terms of pure gross (meaning not accounting for inflation), “Crystal Skull” should breeze past each of the three previous Indy films within its first two weeks. You know what that means: Bring on “Part V.”

In second place, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” continued to disappoint, falling nearly 50 percent in its second weekend to earn just $28.6 million over the four days. While the fantasy film brought its overall gross to just south of $100 million, it’s already running nearly 20 percent behind the first film in the series, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which had earned $116 million by week two of its run. Does this spell the end for sequels beyond “Dawn Treader”? Only Aslan knows for sure.

“Iron Man,” meanwhile, continued to impress, inching its way ever closer to becoming the first $300 million film of 2008. The rich get richer, as Tony Stark added another $25.7 million to his war chest, for an overall total of $257 million in four weeks. A sequel has already been announced for 2010.

In fourth place, the Ashton Kutcher comedy “What Happens in Vegas …” earned $11.2 million, while “Speed Racer” plummeted to fifth place with $5.2 million. Their three-week totals stand at $56.4 million and $37.4 million, respectively.

No numbers were made available for Uwe Boll’s latest, “Postal,” no doubt sparing us the cold, hard facts of another miserable debut.

Upcoming Releases

After a month of comic book heroes, cartoon adaptations and world-weary adventurers, it’s finally the ladies’ turn, with the long-anticipated release of “Sex and the City: The Movie,” the story of four old people who do things we don’t want to think about old people doing. Also opening in limited release is Danny McBride’s “The Foot Fist Way.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” and “Iron Man.”

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